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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cannot Find Ancestor Arriving USA from Germany

On 12 Dec 2008 Tony wrote: I am searching the ship on which my ancestors arrived in the New World. I believe my GGG grandfather ADALBERT KARL, spouse KATHARINA MULTRUS and their four children ROSA, JOHN, JOSEPH, and ALBERT from HRADZEN, BOHEMIA, AUSTRIA near PILSEN departed BREMEN in 1859. They do not show up in any incoming passenger lists in America. To no avail I have searched the Steve Morse site using the following wildcards: ada* ade* cat* kat* ros* joh* jos* alb* and surname kar* car* har* and ear*. This leads me to believe they did not enter through the U.S.

Here is a summary of the records I have searched to date:

a) Every U.S. arrival site - including the Steve Morse site - for every combination I can think of.
b) All of the websites of pre-1865 passsenger lists for Canadian Arrivals on the Olive Tree Genealogy site.
c) The "Germans To America" Series.
d) "German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York, 1855-1862"
e) The Leo Baca Book "Czech Immigration Passenger Lists, Volumes 1-9 "
f) I have requested citizenship records of Adalbert Karl in the hope that they would reveal the date and place of entry into the U.S. but Immigration wrote me that there is no record. He was naturalized in 1866 according to the local county records, but these shed no light on his date or mode of entry to the U.S..
g) I have written to the Ship List and other genealogy listservs in the hope of finding a morsel of information that I could follow up on. I posted on the Ancestry.com message boards and received a response from a gentleman apparently writing from the Czech Republic who informed me,

"Accordings to the proceeding protocoll of Regional Office of Plzen asked on 1859 Adalbert Karl from Hradzen (Hradec u Stoda) for issuing of emigrant passport to USA .."

I am willing to accept that the absence of data means that my ancestors must have entered through Canada on some impossible-to-trace ship. My questions are this: what would be the typical route for a family from Austria, departing Bremen for America in 1859? Assuming they departed Bremen, would they have stopped in the British Isles? And would there be a record of this arrival or departure? And then, would they typically have arrived at Quebec if they were bound for Dayton? Once at Quebec, would their voyage to the wrong Dayton be via the U.S. or Canada?

MY ANSWER: Hello Tony

You have done a great job of writing up your research and asking for help. I think the fact that your ancestor applied for a passport to the USA in 1859 is a strong clue indicating that he did not come through Canada but did in fact arrive on a ship which landed in America.

I believe I have found your Adalbert on the ships list "Republic" arriving NY 7 Nov. 1859 from Bremen. His origin is given as Bohemia, Czechoslovakia and he is 51 years old.

I'm familiar with the New York ships passenger lists and they can be very difficult to read. Some passengers have no first name in the index. Some have only an initial.

I found Adalbert by searching without any names at all and only using his date of birth (which was the only thing missing from your excellent query below) and his year of arrival.

He is misindexed on Ancestry as "Balbert Kar" Had you searched with wildcards on surname for "kar*" and no first name, he should have shown up. But sometimes the Ancestry search glitches and a result will not appear one time, but will appear the next!

In any case, with "Balbert" are the following individuals who appear to be your family

Adalbert b ca 1852
Catharine b ca 1818
Johann b ca 1842
Joseph b ca 1849
Rosalia b ca 1840

To view the passenger list yourself you will have to use Ancestry.com

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Lorine's Note: I sent Tony this information in private email and he very kindly replied with this message:

Dear Lorine,

I am speechless. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In my posting I forgot to include the dates of birth of the family members. They all match exactly, including the age of Adlbert. It must be them! I was resigned to the fact that I would never find them, and I never would have dreamt of searching the site as you did. That was incredibly resourceful. Again, I can't thank you enough. I can't wait to obtain a copy of the passenger list.

Grazie!
Tony

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